We have just arrived from our 3-week trip to Mozambique (in Africa) and Germany (in Europe). Two different continents than the one we live in. We decided to go to both places in one trip to save a little, since we felt the need to visit our missionary friends in Europe also.
Preparations for the trip took about 6 months: the purchase of the ticket, getting the visas, malaria pills, preparation of studies and messages to be taught and preached, organization of material to be donated. Finally, packing and then the trip!
We got there very excited, but we had to deal with the time change (8 hours difference), climate changes, adjustments to food and water, spiritual warfare, different beds, tough work and a little stomach/intestinal problems.
The Lord blessed us, delivered us, renewed us, enabled us, used us and brought us back, safe and sound!
Coming back we have the same re-adjustments to do:
1. Time change (8 hours) – It took us 5 days to re-adjust our bodies to sleep at the right time and to get up at the right time. On the first day we got up at 3:00 am, on the second at 4:00 am, on the third, at 5:00 am, on the fourth, at 4:00 am again (surprise!), but on the fifth day we slept until 6:00 in the morning. Praise the Lord!
2. Different weather patterns – in Mozambique it started to become very hot on the last week. In Germany it was colder than we expected (and we hadn’t taken warm clothes) and in Casper there was snow on our first night back – and it’s only September! The snow melted the next day, now we are dealing with a LOT of wind!
3. Our ‘home’ food and good water – we love to travel (we really do!), but there’s nothing like coming back home! To sleep in our own bed, to eat the food we are used to and, specially, to hug and kiss the daughter that we love so much!
Returning home after a missionary trip in which we gave a lot of ourselves, creates some paradoxs: we receive relief for our souls (because we have fulfilled God’s purpose) yet the physical tiredness makes us think that we are discouraged. Our spirits feel uplifted because we have seen what God is doing in those places that we have just visited and also because we have participated in His work, but we look around (in our own country of residency) and we see how much we need to pray for God to break the curses over “our” own people.
I have to confess that yesterday (Sunday), the Lord’s Day, I found myself fighting a little feeling of deppression. We got up early, prayed, had breakfast, got ready and went to church. I was very happy to see my beautiful (talented and annointed) daughter leading worship from the piano, but I could not enter into worship like I often do. The message didn’t impact me as much as it could’ve. I knew the problem was in me! We came back home and I was quiet most of the time. I made lunch for the family. We had lunch. Talked. Rested. Watched movies. Played cards. Went to bed.
We slept well! And, since the body is better adjusted to the time change and I am no longer tired, I got up with a renewed excitement. After breakfast (with our beautiful daughter), I read the Word of God which spoke to me in a special way. We also got some good news from Mozambique (that brings me joy!). Bruce and I had a good prayer time. We are excited in the Lord! We have a lot of work ahead of us. We feel committed to Africa more than ever! We are small and limited, but our God is big, infinite and All-Powerful! Halleluja!